Hammer Series

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Re: Re:

Bye Bye Bicycle said:
King Boonen said:
Not read all the comments yet. I get the feeling that they have seen the success of Red Hook Crit and decided they want a piece of it.
I frankly have no idea what that is, I had to google it. :eek:
It's growing but still pretty underground in terms of general cycling fans. Dani King raced in London and a few other names crop up every now and then on the RHC circuit and other fixed wheel road racing in Europe. The events are well managed, extremely successful and brilliant fun for competitors and spectators.
 
Cycling's unpopularity nowadays is not due to its supposed conservatism but on the contrary to its many reforms.

Making it more globalised hasn't helped. At the Tour of Flanders there are more foreign riders than Belgian riders. How can the local people identify with riders, then?

Besides since the Moser hour performances in 1984 the UCI has accepted multiple technological innovations that are illegal by their ruling of 1984 and which has made the bikes uglier, more expensive and much easier to race on, which means less epic and entertaining to watch. The current bikes even for in-line races have all aero rims, I think. That's illegal by the traditional UCI ruling lasting until 1984 (not talking about all the ITT bikes). Let us not even talk about the clinic which has definitely made the sport less attractive beside giving it a bad reputation. All the UCI reforms such as cutting short the semi classic distances (and some classics) have been a disaster to the said classics which now often end in a sprint because it's too easy and the riders are too strong globally for gaps.

The fact that oldies are still massively watching the sport is evidence that cycling was tremendously popular in their younger days with its traditional format but many realise that cycling is not what it used to be and many also quit watching it. I'm in my thirties but if I were a teen today I'd probably not be interested. As a viewer I'm kind of cynical. I like seeing riders suffering martyrdom on their bikes, not having fun. I like seeing Mathieu Van der Poel lying down out of breath after winning Zonhoven, a lot more than when he's making silly wheelies. Because I can identify with that, it evokes the hardness of the lives of the common people rather than the easiness of the bourgeois.

Making even more reforms or innovation while the previous ones didn't work is stupid. Cycling needs counter-reforms now. A team format especially made for TV has already been tried in tennis and it didn't really work: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_TeamTennis
 
Is anyone suggesting that all races should follow this new format? Have some races like this and keep the rest to the old format, just like "the old format" is a nice mix of stage races and one-day races, with the individual stages and the various one-day races in turn being a nice mix of a lot of stuff.


Making it more globalised hasn't helped. At the Tour of Flanders there are more foreign riders than Belgian riders. How can the local people identify with riders, then?
You can only identify with riders from your own country? I personally identify slightly with several of the Colombians, due to our shared shortness.
 
Re:

RedheadDane said:
You can only identify with riders from your own country? I personally identify slightly with several of the Colombians, due to our shared shortness.
You can easily get in touch with Colombian riders?

Okay with the Internet it is now possible, especially if you can speak foreign languages. However if cyclocross is now so popular in Belgium, a lot more so than road cycling, it's also because it's remained pretty much provincial. Basically about the Low Countries here and when a foreigner comes, he's quickly adopted by the local people (Stybar is an example). In the US it's the fastest developing sport at the moment but it's basically an all North American affair with a few Belgians or Italians in the mix.

The majority of the people would cheer for the local heroes, those who are fan club members and all. We are probably not representative.
 
I understand the pessimism of some posts, but at the same time I believe it's true cycling needs to do something to attract viewers and sponsors. Races are disappearing year after year, brands are less and less inclined to invest in the sport. You want cycling to become a niche sport? That's fine to me, but understand that could mean seeing historic races completely vanish because of the lack of money. I don't think that's a great idea.

So is the Hammer Series the solution? I doubt it, but what's wrong in giving it a try? It is not going to be scheduled in place of other historic races. If it works, then keep it. If it fails, bye bye.

Sports evolve. Old things are not necessarily better than new ones. I want to experience things before evaluating them.
 
Oct 23, 2011
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Bye Bye Bicycle said:
But isn't cycling already exactly like this (apart from Belgium maybe?). It's a cliché maybe, but it's often said that in France the generation 60+ is the sport's faithful main audience. Same in Germany: ARD brought back live transmissions of the Tour because a lot of people like to see nice pictures of the French countryside in July. Races in Europe often disappear due to aging organizing teams.

It might not be as popular as it used to be, but we shouldn't make this decline in popularity more dramatic than it is. In a country like the Netherlands cycling might not be as popular as it used to be, but it's still one of the bigger sports. I'm from the Netherlands and I've lived in Belgium for a while now and in both countries cycling is still one of the major sports and it isn't in danger of dying out at all. I know plenty of young people from both countries who care about cycling. Maybe less so than older generations, but it isn't as if people in their 20s in the Netherlands and Belgium don't care at all about cycling anymore, at least not in my experience. In fact, with the recent success of Dumoulin and Kruijswijk, I get the impression cycling is actually growing a bit in the Netherlands.
 
Feb 6, 2016
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Re: Re:

Libertine Seguros said:
LaFlorecita said:
Why Hammer? Because it sounds cool? Did Sarah Hammer invent this?

I don't really see the purpose of this new event, why does road cycling have to be more like track? But let's give it a fair shot, it should at least be an interesting event to watch. As long as regular races aren't replaced by this, there's no issue.
Because it sounds good in a meeting in front of execs and representatives of the sponsor to have a corporate brand name and logo, regardless of whether it's objectively stupid to anybody outside of that boardroom.

You know, the same way as every team these days designs its kit around what looks cool when lit for a suave corporate launch, not what is identifiable and interesting on the road from the helicam on a wet day in Flanders in March, so every team started looking the same. What looks and sounds good in the boardroom is paramount.
I mostly agree with LS' points, and I'm not remotely a fan of this new atrocious idea (ironically I think, unlike anyone else, the closing TTT is the one part with any merit) but I will point out that basically every major cycling race was developed to sell newspapers. Boardrooms have been part of pro cycling since it began.
 
Apr 12, 2015
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Re: Re:

Maaaaaaaarten said:
Bye Bye Bicycle said:
But isn't cycling already exactly like this (apart from Belgium maybe?). It's a cliché maybe, but it's often said that in France the generation 60+ is the sport's faithful main audience. Same in Germany: ARD brought back live transmissions of the Tour because a lot of people like to see nice pictures of the French countryside in July. Races in Europe often disappear due to aging organizing teams.

It might not be as popular as it used to be, but we shouldn't make this decline in popularity more dramatic than it is. In a country like the Netherlands cycling might not be as popular as it used to be, but it's still one of the bigger sports. I'm from the Netherlands and I've lived in Belgium for a while now and in both countries cycling is still one of the major sports and it isn't in danger of dying out at all. I know plenty of young people from both countries who care about cycling. Maybe less so than older generations, but it isn't as if people in their 20s in the Netherlands and Belgium don't care at all about cycling anymore, at least not in my experience. In fact, with the recent success of Dumoulin and Kruijswijk, I get the impression cycling is actually growing a bit in the Netherlands.
I am Dutch myself and I also feel that some of my friends are a little more into cycling than they used to. This is mainly because of what you said, the recent success of Dumoulin and Kruijswijk, which at the same time is a bit of a problem. Those guys support Dutch success and not necessarily the sport cycling itself. When there is no Dutch rider doing well in the Giro or Vuelta, those friends of mine are definitely not watching it. I try to get them to watch the classics each year but without success ...
 
Re:

SafeBet said:
I understand the pessimism of some posts, but at the same time I believe it's true cycling needs to do something to attract viewers and sponsors. Races are disappearing year after year, brands are less and less inclined to invest in the sport. You want cycling to become a niche sport? That's fine to me, but understand that could mean seeing historic races completely vanish because of the lack of money. I don't think that's a great idea.

So is the Hammer Series the solution? I doubt it, but what's wrong in giving it a try? It is not going to be scheduled in place of other historic races. If it works, then keep it. If it fails, bye bye.

Sports evolve. Old things are not necessarily better than new ones. I want to experience things before evaluating them.
A very sensible post, this.
 
Agree with Libertine, Maarten, Valv, Flo and co.
The sport I liked it clearly dying. More and more races are struggling to afford the race and prize moneys while UCI and Velon do nothing except having idiotic ideas that makes cycling even worse :mad:

Look at the description:
''Two hour pain-fest'' :eek: That is pathetic.

They are making cycling more boring and easier. They are making an endurance sport a power freakshow which is not even remotley funny. The real cycling fans are bringing ideas about how to make cycling great again but they are not making it great, they are making it even worse.

With U23 type mountain stages being regularly, the very low amount of TT, mountain stages usually being a ____/ type of stages and not having a 250 km mountainous or hilly stagess, the routes being too backloaded, the races not having not having enough challenges to one dimensional riders (gravel roads and cobbles can be used in race routes) and the very high amount of pure sprint stages in stage races I definitely don't like how cycling is going.

The Milano-San Remo got easier as well with Le Manie being excluded so now the race is more boring and an attack on the final two hills are almost doomed.

The Ardennes are continuing to have their routes too backloaded with easier middle parts and hard finals and the amount of flat kilometers between the climbs they are now a reduced uphill sprints which is pathetic.

And I am not even talking about the team sizes, the radios etc. Luckily the cobbled classics are still great to watch. And Lombardia was great to watch in the last 2 years as well.
 
Re:

Forever The Best said:
Agree with Libertine, Maarten, Valv, Flo and co.
The sport I liked it clearly dying. More and more races are struggling to afford the race and prize moneys while UCI and Velon do nothing except having idiotic ideas that makes cycling even worse :mad:

Look at the description:
''Two hour pain-fest'' :eek: That is pathetic.

They are making cycling more boring and easier. They are making an endurance sport a power freakshow which is not even remotley funny. The real cycling fans are bringing ideas about how to make cycling great again but they are not making it great, they are making it even worse.

With U23 type mountain stages being regularly, the very low amount of TT, mountain stages usually being a ____/ type of stages and not having a 250 km mountainous or hilly stagess, the routes being too backloaded, the races not having not having enough challenges to one dimensional riders (gravel roads and cobbles can be used in race routes) and the very high amount of pure sprint stages in stage races I definitely don't like how cycling is going.

The Milano-San Remo got easier as well with Le Manie being excluded so now the race is more boring and an attack on the final two hills are almost doomed.

The Ardennes are continuing to have their routes too backloaded with easier middle parts and hard finals and the amount of flat kilometers between the climbs they are now a reduced uphill sprints which is pathetic.

And I am not even talking about the team sizes, the radios etc. Luckily the cobbled classics are still great to watch. And Lombardia was great to watch in the last 2 years as well.
A very sensible post, this.
 
Its like the organisers (not only of this race, but many races have adopted some shorter stages) not have raced bikes before. I can go fast for 2 hours, but at some point, fatigue kicks in and I can't push the same watts anymore, get exhausted etc. They are removing that aspect which its where cycling starts getting interesting. Its very simple.
 
Re: Re:

Echoes said:
Forever The Best said:
Agree with Libertine, Maarten, Valv, Flo and co.
The sport I liked it clearly dying. More and more races are struggling to afford the race and prize moneys while UCI and Velon do nothing except having idiotic ideas that makes cycling even worse :mad:

Look at the description:
''Two hour pain-fest'' :eek: That is pathetic.

They are making cycling more boring and easier. They are making an endurance sport a power freakshow which is not even remotley funny. The real cycling fans are bringing ideas about how to make cycling great again but they are not making it great, they are making it even worse.

With U23 type mountain stages being regularly, the very low amount of TT, mountain stages usually being a ____/ type of stages and not having a 250 km mountainous or hilly stagess, the routes being too backloaded, the races not having not having enough challenges to one dimensional riders (gravel roads and cobbles can be used in race routes) and the very high amount of pure sprint stages in stage races I definitely don't like how cycling is going.

The Milano-San Remo got easier as well with Le Manie being excluded so now the race is more boring and an attack on the final two hills are almost doomed.

The Ardennes are continuing to have their routes too backloaded with easier middle parts and hard finals and the amount of flat kilometers between the climbs they are now a reduced uphill sprints which is pathetic.

And I am not even talking about the team sizes, the radios etc. Luckily the cobbled classics are still great to watch. And Lombardia was great to watch in the last 2 years as well.
A very sensible post, this.
Thanks a lot. I am just annoyed that races are getting easier and easier. And the likes of Kittel,Quintana who are one trick ponies are having more and more chances to win races here and there. Quintana can win a GT, but you have to test him with 100 km of ITT, several brutal hilly stages and some gravel roads cor cobbles if there is any in the country so he needs to attack properly in the mountain stages (read as:eek:n the penultimate climbs mostly, maybe even the from the third last climb) which will be proper too. He also has to be tested with more descent finishes and some of the flat stages should have echelons.

The likes of Kittel should be tested with more hills on the flat stages which they need to get over to have a chance in the sprint, some echelon baiting flat stages which shold test their rouleur ability and their ability of riding in wind. And there should also be lesser flat stages. Luckily there are very few classics to win for the likes of Kittel.
 
I think people here are a bit overreacting. This is one race not the whole cycling calendar. I know people here are complaining because they think changing the format of cycling isn't necessary at all and I as a cycling fan agree, but let race organizers try. I also don't think the Hammer Series will be the 2nd coming of Jesus and if people aren't interested in it it will either disappear or simply become a small event nobody really cares about.
I am a big Alpine skiing fan and there is basically a 2nd alpine skiing racing series which was designed to attract new fans, called ski cross. It's alpine skiing with the only difference that there are 4 athletes skiing the slope at the same time. This discipline kind of reminds me of the hammer series. It also has a "cool" name which has nothing to do with the sport and it wants to be very spectacular. Summed up it's a sport which wants to be alpine skiing but cooler. But still this sport hasn't gained any popularity in the last few years and will definitely not replace old alpine skiing. It's fun to watch a race once in a while but nothing more.
And I think exactly the same will happen to the hammer series. It will probably be fun to watch but even easier to forget. A decent entertainment but nothing more. If you want to complain, complain about the shortening of cycling races, team radio and team sizes. These are real problems cycling has, I doubt the Hammer Series will ever become another one.

Oh and btw, it's kind of funny to read how you think about the interest of todays youth in cycling. Personally I obviously like cycling but I must admit that I only know one other person at around my age who shows any interest in cycling. Funnily that one other person is exactly the kind of fan who only watches the tour de france and races Sagan is riding, so to quote Libertine "the fans cycling doesn't need" (although in his fairness I must say, he is half Slovakian so it makes sense that he likes Sagan).
 
Gigs_98 said:
I think people here are a bit overreacting. This is one race not the whole cycling calendar. I know people here are complaining because they think changing the format of cycling isn't necessary at all and I as a cycling fan agree, but let race organizers try. I also don't think the Hammer Series will be the 2nd coming of Jesus and if people aren't interested in it it will either disappear or simply become a small event nobody really cares about.
I am a big Alpine skiing fan and there is basically a 2nd alpine skiing racing series which was designed to attract new fans, called ski cross. It's alpine skiing with the only difference that there are 4 athletes skiing the slope at the same time. This discipline kind of reminds me of the hammer series. It also has a "cool" name which has nothing to do with the sport and it wants to be very spectacular. Summed up it's a sport which wants to be alpine skiing but cooler. But still this sport hasn't gained any popularity in the last few years and will definitely not replace old alpine skiing. It's fun to watch a race once in a while but nothing more.
And I think exactly the same will happen to the hammer series. It will probably be fun to watch but even easier to forget. A decent entertainment but nothing more. If you want to complain, complain about the shortening of cycling races, team radio and team sizes. These are real problems cycling has, I doubt the Hammer Series will ever become another one.

Oh and btw, it's kind of funny to read how you think about the interest of todays youth in cycling. Personally I obviously like cycling but I must admit that I only know one other person at around my age who shows any interest in cycling. Funnily that one other person is exactly the kind of fan who only watches the tour de france and races Sagan is riding, so to quote Libertine "the fans cycling doesn't need" (although in his fairness I must say, he is half Slovakian so it makes sense that he likes Sagan).
As I said I am annoyed by how cycling is going generally so I just decided to vent over my frustration. And Hammer Series isn't going to make anything better, it is one of those little things that are not very good for the sport and if those little things come together then it destroys the sport which is happening right now. Also those series are advocating the races to become shorter and shorter.
And there are a few members on this forum that are young, including me. But I don't have a friend around who likes cycling though.
And as I said in an earlier post the team sizes and radios are very big problems and I am not even talking about them because I am getting more sad and angry if I talk about them.
 
Re:

Forever The Best said:
They are making cycling more boring and easier. They are making an endurance sport a power freakshow which is not even remotley funny. The real cycling fans are bringing ideas about how to make cycling great again but they are not making it great, they are making it even worse.
What ideas? Combining Zomegnanism with stage lengths from the open EPO era? That's reactionary.

I also don't think that stuff like Hammer Series will change things. Especially with that point system. It's way to complicated. I get what you criticize. Still I wonder what the solutions are? If there are any solutions.

We have so many users here with tons of experience in this great sport. Why don't we discuss this here with an eye for the future and pitch it to the race organizers? cn has a voice in this sport, so why not go for it?
 
Re:

SafeBet said:
Here's my first idea: since Milano - San Remo is apparently becoming too easy I say we bring back the 60s route.
I'm sure it will murder the peloton. Good ol' days.
The races are much easier to control due to many different factors. (team size, radios, clinical things etc.) And MSR is easier since 2014 because there is no Le Manie. So I don't get what you are implying here.
 
Forever The Best said:
The races are much easier to control due to many different factors. (team size, radios, clinical things etc.) And MSR is easier since 2014 because there is no Le Manie. So I don't get what you are implying here.
I'm implying that the whole narrative of races being much easier than in the past is very debatable. I'd go as far as saying that most one day races are on paper much harder than how they used to be.

Sometimes making a route harder delivers more entertainment. Sometimes it doesn't. I'm all for trying different things and then assess what works and what doesn't. Again, I understand your concern, but I'm wondering if some of you are against this particular change or any kind of change.
 
I enjoy watching cycling and I dont recall anyone complaining about the route changes mentioned in this thread until after an unpopular rider won the event. MSR wasn't too controlled last year it was mass chaos the real problem is a French won.

If someone really wants to get rich from organizing bike event they should make fake cycling races with heels and heros just like wrastlin' in 'murica. WWE had 11% revenue 14% increase in paid subscribers last year.
 
The matter is that different people would never agree on what is entertaining and what is not.

Those who like to have fun with a big circus show, who like brief impressive accelerations or sprints and artificial point-awarding system would like this, and several of them would like much of what cycling is today. Yet it seems like it's not enough but how would people who find 'traditional' cycling boring be attracting to cycling just because such an event? They'd rather stick to the X games or motorcross or whatever. Usually, the university bourgeoisie would rather like this. They are always the most open to innovation and Progress.

Those who like epicness, the long-lasting suffering of the red-faced forehead-sweaty athletes, hit by "the man with the hammer" would like traditional cycling, of which already little remains today. But as was suggested above, it requires patience and in the era of video games and ipods, that's of course not up to anybody. Usually it's for the working-class. Cycling until about 1984 was the sport of the blue-collars!
 
Re:

SafeBet said:
Forever The Best said:
The races are much easier to control due to many different factors. (team size, radios, clinical things etc.) And MSR is easier since 2014 because there is no Le Manie. So I don't get what you are implying here.
I'm implying that the whole narrative of races being much easier than in the past is very debatable. I'd go as far as saying that most one day races are on paper much harder than how they used to be.

Sometimes making a route harder delivers more entertainment. Sometimes it doesn't. I'm all for trying different things and then assess what works and what doesn't. Again, I understand your concern, but I'm wondering if some of you are against this particular change or any kind of change.
I think the old route with the old equipment was harder than the current route with new equipment.

Historically, the race has always been made harder as a reaction to numerous bunch sprints.
 

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